CPSB considers Unitary Status

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish School Board passed a motion to discuss the potential of unitary status in the district at Tuesday night's meeting.

A unitary school district has successfully eliminated the old racially segregated dual school system based on 7 measurable factors.

The 7 factors include extracurricular activities, transportation, administrative staff assignment, relative quality of education, faculty assignment, student assignment, and facilities and resources.

Concerned citizens from the lake area attended the meeting to voice their concerns on the issue of unitary status.

"You have not supplied them with equal education that is the one thing we do not have," said Mary Morris, a concerned citizen from Lake Charles.

Morris feels the parish is far from being in compliance with unitary status when considering the 7 factors that must be measured.

"We do not have all certified and highly qualified teachers," said Morris. "I have the grades that indicate that all of our schools are at the bottom."

Other concerned citizens feel the quality of extra-curricular activities is also a concern.

"We had about 200 seventh and eighth graders try out for spots on the football team at S. J. Welsh," said Renee Stump, a concerned parent from Lake Charles. "Meanwhile you have another school in town who didn't have enough students to suit up a football team."

Transportation is also a problem as parents say it is leaving many schools overcrowded.

"Due to the overwhelming number of teacher to student ratios, even the best teachers are at a disadvantage," said Lynn Sorghum.

After listening to the concerns, Superintendent Wayne Savoy plans to dig deep into the district's potential for this status.

"The board has granted me permission to find out where we are in compliance with unitary status," said Wayne Savoy. "If we aren't there, I'll figure out what we need to do to comply with unitary status."

Further discussions on the issue of unitary status will be on the agenda for later committee meetings.

The Calcasieu Parish School Board's next committee meeting is February 23rd.

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